1911s - Looking for some intel.

1911s - Looking for some intel.

This is a discussion on 1911s - Looking for some intel. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A new year means resolutions, right? Promises to do/say/try/whatever new things? Well, for me 1911s are new things. Some folks I know have been nudging ...

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Thread: 1911s - Looking for some intel.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array BAC's Avatar
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    1911s - Looking for some intel.

    A new year means resolutions, right? Promises to do/say/try/whatever new things?

    Well, for me 1911s are new things. Some folks I know have been nudging me about 'em for a long while now, and lately I've been able to handle (fondle/grope) them a bit more, so I've finally started looking seriously into buying one for my first full-time carry gun. They feel nice in my hand (I'm picky about that), and have a real nice trigger. Heck, I've even gotten over the "cocked and locked" fear I've had for a while just in carrying my little PA-63 around (and it can't even "lock"!).

    But there's always a caveat: it has to be boringly reliable as well as durable, and it has to be the 4" or 5" variety (what, Commander and Government, I think?). High standard for a weapon whose only comparison will be with the G17 that's been "in the family" for years, but as this will be a carry weapon I want to know I can rely on it.

    So, looking ahead a the potential of a new gun, I look back at the M1911 and M1911A1 models. If I want reliability, I want something based on one of them, right? JBM did something right to make them survive and succeed in two World Wars and other rough conflicts, especially the mess of trench warfare. To the best of my knowledge, they had a little loser tolerances than is common nowadays, the longer-barreled versions were more reliable in feeding and ejection, and they were generally rugged as anything.

    One of my bigger problems is finding brands that are known for putting out no-nonsense, work-horse 1911s. I've never cared about looks in a gun, or special features, or customized this and that. Just a gun that does what Browning made it to do.

    So, what say the community? Am I on the right track at looking for companies that still make original M1911-spec or M1911A1-spec guns (Do any companies still make original M1911-spec or M1911A1-spec guns anymore)? I'm really trying not to break the bank here (my target is for $600 or less); I'm still working my way through college.

    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Get the Springfield GI with the beveled mag well. Less than $600. Very, very nice weapon. Shot a buddy's. I am very pleased with how it shot. Great first 1911. Great base gun for a custom project. The Springfield GI is the best quality for your dollar in the market right now. Can't say enough good things about them.

    They do have a internal lock on the mainspring housing (back of grip frame). Kind of a PITA, but you can easily change out the MSH if you don't want it in there.

    If you get one, let me know. I will have an extra normal MSH around soon. I'm going to bobtail my Kimber (has plastic checkered MSH) and replace the one on my Rock Island Armory with one with a magfunnel. I think that one is ridged or serrated. Can't remember. It's at the smith's getting worked over a bit.

  3. #3
    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Great Choice.

    For an everyday carry pistol I would go with a Commander length slide since there is no loss of functional reliability with the modestly shortened Commander length.

    I've been shooting and carrying both for a long time and I sort of favor the slightly shorter slide.
    Some shooters (I'm sure) will disagree with me but, I believe they balance and point a small fraction bit better. For me anyway. I can't really say that it will make much of a practical difference to anybody else.

    Try them both at the local gun shop and decide for yourself.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Colt lightweight Commander

    Given your specifications, I'd recommend a Colt lightweight Commander - aluminum frame and 4.25 inch barrel. But it will probably cost you more than $600 - I would budget closer to $900 for one. The Colt is more likely to run reliably than most other brands, and you emphasized reliability in your posting.

    If the $600 is a hard constraint, you are going to be confined to a parkerized 1911 made of Brazilian parts.
    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

  6. #5
    Member Array shooter1's Avatar
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    What you say you want is a GI type 1911. Then you say you want it to do service as a carry gun. There are a couple of conflicting issues here. The GI type is a decent pistol in it's own right, but far from ideal for carry. It is heavy, has poor sights, small controls, and a spur hammer with no beavertail. You have a right to expect any new 1911 to work fine right out of the box. In my experience, they do. I own several 1911s from 3" to 5". They are all reliable. My two favorites happen to be Kimbers. IMO the 3" stainless Ultra carry is the best of the best for carry. Accurate enough to hold it's on against fullsize guns in IDPA, stone reliable, while being light and thin for carry. The other is my all around favorite, a 4" stainless Pro Carry. The shorter grip of the Ultra is the only real advantage it has over the Pro for ccw. Before I'm accused of being a 1911 fanatic, I should also state that a own a couple dozen handguns of various manufacture, from Glocks to Sigs, that I also appreciate. The Ulta can be had for about $800, last I heard, the Pro for around $700. Most that buy a GI type 1911 end up spending a couple hundred bucks making it into the gun they wanted in the first place. If you want a fullsize then get the Springfield "Loaded" or the Kimber "Custom" and you will have a great pistol right from the start without having to modify anything.
    Whatever you get, I know you'll enjoy it!


  7. #6
    Member Array S3ymour's Avatar
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    Take a look at Rock Island Armory made by Armscor. Great gun, true to original specs, and the best customer service around. I have a High Standard made by armscor and it is absolutely amazing. Made to the original GI specs(M1911-A1), it can take loads of after markets parts if you eventually want to drop more money into it. The only thing that leaves you wanting with a GI issue 1911 is the sights, but since the 1911 is one of the best point shooting guns, that really isn't much of an issue. Although I intend to change mine out. Anyways, Springfields are great too, it all depends on what you want out of the gun and how much you are willing to pay.
    "All war is deception" --Sun Tzu

  8. #7
    OD* is offline
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    You may have to increase your target price to get a Government or Commander model built to specification.

    The Colt's are still built the closest to spec of all the standard production guns. When you say built to specification, are you meaning solely looks and fit, or are you including materials?
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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  9. #8
    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Michigan's U.P.
    For your money, Springfield.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    All of those are excellent recommendations. I have Colt, Springfield Armory and Kimber. RIA is good as well. I prefer 4-4.25" 1911's over the 5".

  11. #10
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    I found a 4" conceals best for me. The extra inch on the 5" would poke out on my hip area. SA Makes a GI 4" . Something to consider anyway.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    IIRC, the 4" GI is a bull barrel bushingless barrel with a FLGR. The 5" is a true GM with bushing barrel and shorty rod/plug. I prefer the normal bushing with shorty rod/plug.

    I have a RIA but for a first 1911 I would recommend against it unless it is strictly a range blaster or truck gun. For a carry weapon the Springer GI or Mil Spec is the bottom line in a 1911 carry weapon.

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    If you are willing to increase your budget by a couple hundred dollars, you can probably find a tough, reliable, accurate, easy to carry 1911 from several manufacturers... I'd probably steer you toward a Dan Wesson bobtailed commander. You can find them for around $800 if you shop around, and they come pretty much fully loaded.

    Read up on it:

    Dan Wesson’s Commander Classic Bobtail .45 ACP

    DW Commander Cls Bobtail

  14. #13
    Member Array jarhead45's Avatar
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    Springfield Armory is your best bet.
    Honor, Courage, Virtue. These are what makes a man.
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  15. #14
    Member Array vernonator's Avatar
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    I will second the Dan Wesson Classic Bobtail Commander - Its my EDC and in over a year and 1000+ rounds I have never had a single stoppage. You can get it delivered from Buds for around $875....VERY good bang for the buck....

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array BigEFan's Avatar
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    Go with a Springfield and if you have the couple of hundred dollars everyone is suggesting you spend, stay with Springfield and get a loaded version of their champion.
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    "Not only do the people who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us deserve better, we all deserve better than to have our own security undermined by those who undermine law enforcement." -Thomas Sowell

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